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WiFi as a Service (Waas) Pricing

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 1, 2018 4:05:04 PM / by Blog Team

Blog Team

WiFi as a Service (WaaS), or managed WiFi, can be priced many different ways. Before getting into pricing models, it helps to review the cost elements of any project. All WiFi projects have four cost elements: labor, materials, other direct costs (ODC), and travel.

  • Labor - Human resources needed to meet the requirements of the project. For WiFi projects, typical labor types are WiFi engineers, network engineers, technicians, and project managers.
  • Materials - Products/electronics needed for the project. For WiFi projects, typical materials are access points, switches, controllers, software subscriptions, licenses, and warranties.
  • Other Direct Costs (ODC) - Any non-labor costs that can be allocated to the project such as accessories and equipment rental.
  • Travel - Airfare, lodging, ground transportation, parking, tolls, and meals per diem.


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Pricing Models

  • Firm Fixed Price - Client is billed for the entire project cost (labor + materials + ODC + travel) after project acceptance.
  • Cost Plus Price - Client is billed for actual cost of project (labor + materials + ODC + travel) plus an agreed upon service fee.
  • Time and Materials Pricing - Client is billed for labor based on agreed upon rates for labor types. The client is typically billed for materials, ODC, and travel at actual cost plus an administrative fee/percent.
  • Subscription Pricing - Total project cost is divided into monthly payments based on an agreed upon contract duration (36 months). In some cases, clients also take ownership of electronics after implementation and pay a one time fee with reduced monthly fee to cover services.


WiFi as a Service (WaaS) Pricing

Pricing for WiFi as a Service usually falls under the subscription model listed above. This model is best suited for clients that would like to spread the cost of products and services over multiple months/years versus a large upfront capital investment.

In addition to monthly payments, the client can also fund monthly operational and support fees to keep the network running. This model is beneficial for both parties for the following reasons:


  • Incentivized to design and implement a quality solution that will have minimal network issues to reduce support calls.
  • Predictable monthly revenue.


  • Ongoing support from organization that implemented network.
  • Reduced confusion on what was implemented.
  • Predictable monthly costs.


WiFi as a Service Pricing Pros/Cons

There are multiple ways to price out a WaaS project and, as with most things, there are pros and cons to each option.


Estimating Options



Area/Square Foot Based

Easy to calculate pricing estimate.

Doesn't take into consideration coverage vs. capacity based designs.

Device Count Based


Good for understanding device capability and best access point selection.

Doesn't take into consideration location devices, application types, and use case scenarios.

User Count Based


Good for understanding use cases and capacity based planning.

Doesn't take into consideration location of users or application types.


A pricing estimate based on the square footage of an area is commonly used for small business environments. With most capping out at 10,000 square feet, these environments will only need 5-10 APs for the network to work optimally. Since a small business won’t have a lot of users or devices, it is easier to determine an estimate using this method.

Estimates based off of device or user counts are typically used for large spaces, such as indoor or outdoor stadiums. Stadiums hold thousands of people, almost all of which have at least one device to connect to the network. While understanding the capacity of these environments helps in estimating a project’s price, there are several factors that these two options do not take into consideration.

A hybrid option that includes designated areas (including high capacity areas) and device/user counts is highly recommended. Combining all of these options is the best way to estimate WiFi as a Service pricing since all factors are taken into account. This method will provide the most accurate pricing estimate.

Topics: WiFi

Blog Team

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